What can impact my score?
Reduce your overall credit
If you have several credit accounts and are using a high proportion of the credit made available to you on these accounts, this can decrease your Experian Credit Score
Be patient if you have a CCJ or Scottish Decree
A public record is a County Court Judgment (CCJ) or Scottish Decree, a bankruptcy order or an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA). If you have any of these, your Experian Credit Score and chances of getting credit are likely to be low, and it may take at least 6 years for your Experian Credit Score to fully recover. The only thing you can do is to wait, and in the meantime, manage your finances carefully and make sure you are paying back existing debt on time e.g within the agreements you have set up with any lenders.
Avoid missed or late payments
Late payments can be a sign you are struggling to pay back the money you have borrowed. Lenders are less likely to offer credit to people who regularly miss payments. Late payments will affect the Experian Credit Score for 6 months from the date they were eventually paid. You may want to consider setting up Direct Debits as one way to avoid missing payments.
Close unused accounts
It is better to have fewer, well-managed accounts, and long-standing accounts with good histories.
Do not let your credit card balances get too high
Lenders will look at the amount of credit that you have used and may take this into account when assessing whether you are likely to be able to manage any further credit. If your balances are too close to your credit limits, it can be a sign of financial over-commitment.
Remember to keep up with repayments and pay on time
Stay within the agreed credit limits and make necessary monthly repayments in full and on time, paying more than the minimum off your credit cards each month if you can. Missed and late payments stay on your credit report for at least six years and may result in lenders regarding you as a higher risk.
Don’t open too many new accounts
The Experian Credit Score is a reflection on how lenders would score you if you were to apply for credit now. However, too many new accounts can be a sign you are living off credit rather than your income or that you could have too many debts so you should also be aware that new accounts will negatively affect your Experian Credit Score for around 6 months.
Having older accounts can be a sign you have been managing your credit well for a long time. Lenders prefer to lend money to people who have proven they can manage credit. If the average age of all your accounts is low (e.g, your accounts are mostly quite new) the Experian Credit Score could go down. Therefore, you may wish to consider that keeping accounts open for longer could see your Experian Credit Score increase.
Missed or late payment
Late payments can be a sign you are struggling to pay back the money you have borrowed. Lenders are less likely to offer credit to people who regularly miss payments. Late payments will affect the Experian Credit Score for 6 months from the date they were eventually paid. You may want to consider setting up direct debits as one way to avoid missing payments.
Register to vote at your current address
Lenders use the Electoral Roll (electoral register) as a precaution against fraud, to check that you live where you say you do. If you do not think you are registered to vote, please contact your local council.
Space out credit applications
A lender will likely check and leave a credit application search footprint on your credit report each time you apply for credit. Space out your credit applications and limit making several applications close together, as too many in a short space of time could be a sign of financial stress to lenders, or even fraud.
Close any accounts you no longer use
Having settled accounts shows lenders that you manage your finances responsibly, so make sure that you close any accounts once you no longer need or use them. Having no settled accounts on your report could decrease your score.
Impact of applying for credit
When you apply for credit, a lender will check your credit report to help them decide whether to lend you money, or give you a new credit account. This credit search will be registered on your report and could reduce your Experian Credit Score. This is because lenders are cautious of giving people access to money if they look as though they are in a somewhat urgent financial situation. They may be less likely to lend to that person because they are less confident that they will be able to pay back the money within the agreement.
Pay off and close accounts
If you have a large number of active credit accounts, this could decrease your Experian Credit Score. Lenders also look at the number of accounts you have successfully closed. It is classed as ‘successfully’ closed if you have paid off and closed the account in line with the agreement the lender gave you. Paying off and closing accounts successfully increases your Experian Credit Score because lenders like to see that you have a history of good account management and that you are able to meet your commitments.